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“Hammerhead,” vocal version (1992)

My new favorite Tin Machine song. I never heard this before today. In writing yesterday’s post, I came across a reference to a vocal version of the unlisted piece of music that ends Tin Machine II called “Hammerhead.” To make things confusing, though the instrumental that ends the album is also called “Hammerhead,” what that actually turns out to be is the last minute or so with a complete song. Having heard it a total of once— just before writing this, I like it!

I hardly understood any of the lyrics, though I was able to make out the word, “hammerhead” here and there in the song. No matter, I like the sound. Am I wrong to think of Iggy Pop? Considering everyone in the band except Reeves Gabrels worked with Iggy, his spirt might have been in the air.

Of course, I looked up the lyrics after listening to the song. They seem violent. Near the beginning of the song Bowie asks if “you felty like Dixon, and Ray and Ali?”— all boxers. What kind of relationship is he singing about here? Also in the mix is the seemingly random line, “sweet thing,” sprinkled throughout the song. That makes this the second song in which Bowie uses the phrase that I know of. His earlier use of that phrase was in “Sweet Thing/Candidate/Sweet Thing “Reprise) from Diamond Dogs, which is actually one of my favorite songs. That earlier song has to do with love in the time of totalitarianism and features lovers buying drugs and jumping into a river (presumably as an act of suicide). So I guess if you hear David Bowie saying, “sweet thing,” run!

That’s my insta-commentary, but the most important thing is that I discovered a new Bowie song that I had never previously heard, and its good.

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